back to article Samsung: 'Apple's proto-iPhone Jony is a Sony phone phoney'

Samsung is pulling out all the stops in its patent battle with Apple. The latest allegation, which emerged in a court filing submitted yesterday, is that Apple based its iPhone 4 design on some early sketches that appear to borrow from a Sony design. The South Korean firm presented prototype Apple CAD drawings [PDF] which even …

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Anonymous Coward

If all this is true, it's pretty damning of Apple and their "We designed it and everybody else copied" stance. Then again, Sony is also not a US company, so they too don't matter to US courts.

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No photoshop

Come on Samsung, you've gotta up your game and 'make' the two products seem so alike.

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I think SONY might have a division that matters to the USA

I think it does music or movies or something....

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I personally like page 5... The original Samsung iPhone.

This whole saga really is a bit sad and repetitive. There's really nothing new or innovative about rounding off the corners of an icon. That's nothing more than basic ergonomics as seen on scrabble tiles.

As for the phone design, there are only so many shapes which can be held in the hand, fit in the pocket and line up with ear and mouth.

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Stop

To point out the bleedin' obvious

Apple were working with Sony over phones back pre 2005 (the W800i with iTunes linkages being the result). It's entirely possible that they were originally thinking of Sony doing the hardware for another joint phone project.

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Also, page 4, where it mentions how Apple withdrew their "copying" claim for the F700 when they found that Samsung had registered the design before the Iphone was announced. But somehow a design which evolved from the F700 is specifically a copy of Apple's product!

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Stop

If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

less like an F700 and more like an iPhone why would you be surprised if Apple sued them?

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Re: If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

>less like an F700 and more like an iPhone why would you be surprised if Apple sued them?

you missed the point on this, and that is that Apple seemingly copied the F700 design with the i-phone., and not the other way round. if you looks at the front of the f700 and i-phone, theyre nears as darn it identicle, and.... the f700 was first.

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only so many shapes which can,,, fit in the pocket

You could argue that rounding off the corners is necessary to avoid causing damage to pockets. That leads to an argument that rounded corners on the shell are a functional requirement and hence not eligible for patent.

Not sure it would get far with legal pro's but might well work on a jury.

TBH I foresee Apple leaving court with less patents than they entered with and a very large bill for Samsungs lost sales.

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Stop

No, the F700 wasn't first

This has been debunked like 100 times. Even the Android Community website has demonstrated it wasn't!

http://androidcommunity.com/who-was-really-first-apple-vs-samsung-story-truly-debunked-20110420/

Just quit with the bullshit.

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Stop

Re: If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

And you missed the point that the F700 had a sliding keyboard, so no, it wasn't much like an iPhone.

Later iPhones didn't "evolve" to have sliding keyboards. Samsung's phones certainly "evolved" the other way.

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Anonymous Coward

April Fool, only it's not April.

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@Metavisor

I went to the website you said. It talks about when they reviewed the phone, and when you might have been able to buy one. Strange they don't mention if the Samsung design was registered before the iphone was even announced.

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Re: If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

no i didnt miis the point, you, like many other s(and apples lawyers) chose to ignore it,

one of apples main patent claims is the look of the i-phone with the rectangular layout, rounded corners and a single button..

tadah!!!! it was on other phone designs before the iphone (the sliding keyboard, or not, is irrelevant)

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WTF?

Re: To point out the bleedin' obvious

Steve, if Apple worked with Sony on that Walkman-branded phone's "Itunes linkages" then what is this "homebrew iTunes script" for?

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/1695/crackers-turn-sony-ericsson-w800i

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WTF?

Re: If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

Actually I think the iPhone looks like a slimmed down (i.e. keyboard less) F700...

Now if Samsung were to release a new phone with a sliding keyboard like the F700, but with the dimensions of the SGS3, I would be interested!

So Surely Samsung should sue Apple for copying their design?

I had never seen the F700, but from looking at it, HOW has apple won ANY design patent arguments?

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Linux

Re: No photoshop

What do you suggest that Samsung do ? Make their smart phones round instead of rectangles?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Make their smart phones round instead of rectangles?

So are you suggesting Round with straight sides as opposed to square with round corners? what court would let that pass I wonder?

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FAIL

Re: If the Samsung phones "evolved" in the direction of looking

To quote Steve Todd "And you missed the point that the F700 had a sliding keyboard, so no, it wasn't much like an iPhone"

And yet crApple initially cited the F700 in their "indiscriminant copying allegations". Another case of selective fanboi memory disorder.

FYI. Samsung filed its design patent for the F700 in Dec 2006 in South Korea

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Coat

Nurse! Bring me popcorn this one's going to be good!

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Angel

I cant help but hope

That this will ultimately cause Apple to back off a bit on the bullshit. But I also dont believe it will do that. Only time will tell sadly and hopefully the patent offices around the world (not singling out the USPTO here) will get their collective heads out of their asses and stop awarding design patents. Doubt that will happen either though.

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Two tech titans battling it out in court.

I bet their respective corporate lawyers are rubbing their hands with glee.

The only loser in all this? Us again, the consumers :-(

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Anonymous Coward

How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

It tells us (non-fanbois) nothing we didn't know about how apple operates.

Perhaps any fanboys who have previous commented that Samsung should 'design their own stuff and not copy apple" would like to retract a few criticisms....thought not.

Apple - the company who wants to own the copyright on cutting corners (in their design process, that is). Lol

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Re: How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

I did notice in that document...

"Samsung also manufactures Apple‘s A5X processor and is the sole supplier of the Retina display used in the new iPad"

So it's pretty much the Samsung Pad, anyway. Do you think engineers get reference code from 'the manufacturer' with those displays like maybe how to implement multi-touch, etc ?

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Gimp

Re: How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

Completely wrong, an serious fanboi knows that the PowerBook 100 was designed in collaboration with Sony.

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Re: How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

Unless they did the pre-retina displays too then they had multi-touch before making Apple's screens. But fanboys who read the document will have found that multi-touch was in use before Apple invented it. So Samsung probably had no difficulty in implementing their own multi-touch system without reference to Apple, as did others.

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Re: How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

So Androids rectangular products look nothing like Apple's but you feel Apple's is so close to the Sony design that it's theft?

Awesome Fandroid logic.

It of course ignores the fact one is glass and one is metal, one has one face button and one has 3 face buttons, one as buttons (or something) significantly sticking out the side and one doesn't.

But it's not like Google didn't tell Samsung their designs are too similar to the ipad as well as Samsung's own product design group.

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Re: How many fannbois will actually read the document though....[nah-nah not listening]

" So Androids rectangular products look nothing like Apple's but you feel Apple's is so close to the Sony design that it's theft?"

Slight misrepresentation there. I think the missing term would be "by Apple's logic". It's more of a hoist-by-one's-own-petard deal.

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Flame

Good god you fanboys are ignorant

"Samsung also manufactures Apple‘s A5X processor and is the sole supplier of the Retina display used in the new iPad"

So it's pretty much the Samsung Pad, anyway. Do you think engineers get reference code from 'the manufacturer' with those displays like maybe how to implement multi-touch, etc ?

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I guess you are not aware that LCDs and touchscreens are manufactured separately and layered one over the other in all touch screen devices sold today. Apple is rumored to be getting their next iPhone's screens from Sharp, which will have the touch matrix integrated into the LCD, which would make it slightly thinner as well as reduce assembly costs. It sounds like this is some tech that Apple developed jointly with Sharp (likely tech Apple got from one of the small companies they buy from time to time)

So no, just because Samsung manufactures the CPU Apple designed and supplies the LCD screen doesn't mean that Samsung has anything to do with Apple's multitouch. Apple got that tech when they bought Fingerworks 2005, which was the company that originally developed the multitouch technology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good god you fanboys are ignorant

>So no, just because Samsung manufactures the CPU Apple designed and supplies the LCD screen doesn't mean that Samsung has anything to do with Apple's multitouch. Apple got that tech when they bought Fingerworks 2005

Just as they got the CPU design team by buying PA Semi - nothing wrong with acquiring your innovation on the open market, but it flies in the face of Apple's continuing to paint itself as an invention hot house.

...choice of Samsung as A5 fabricator is mainly down to the plant that knocks them out being in Texas, really nothing to do with the spat. So much of Apple's kit is produced outside the US, they're unlikely to wipe out a few hundred US jobs by moving this elsewhere whatever happens

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Re: Good god you fanboys are ignorant

Just as they got the CPU design team by buying PA Semi - nothing wrong with acquiring your innovation on the open market, but it flies in the face of Apple's continuing to paint itself as an invention hot house.

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It all comes down to what a company sees as their core competencies. Apple sees themselves as doing great products that work well through seamless melding of hardware and software. They don't need to build their own chip design capability from the ground up to do this, so they bought that capability. They also do acquisitions for companies they think will be useful in the future. Presumably that's why they bought Fingerworks. They saw what they were working on and bought them to bring that capability in house for future products that were in the concept stage.

If Apple just stole everything like the haters claim, they wouldn't have bought Fingerworks, they would have just copied what they did. If they were just buying a bunch of components from Samsung and having Foxconn slap them together like the ignorant claim, they wouldn't have bought PASemi.

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There are a few interesting points made in that document... the image of the phone designs / mockups and the final designs - with the iPhone in the middle, the points about the complaint being a small part of a large design and the "ordinary person" case.

It must be a Friday to have read that... :)

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Trollface

So when will Sony take both to court and try to get their stuff banned ?

This has the makings of a complete farce, let battle commence......

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I don't see what's so damning of Apple, it's not like they got hold of a Sony prototype sketch and copied it, one of Apple's designers was simply sketching ideas and asked himself "what would I design if I was working for sony?".

Personally I think these companies should stop wasting energy suing each other and just make great products, there are hardly any 100% original ideas anymore, just improvements.

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When is a copy not a copy?

The allegation is that Apple *had sight* of some Sony designs, and decided that there were several aspects of them that were superior to the current Apple designs, and that the course of the Apple design project was *changed* to incorporate those aspects of the designs. Hence prior art/copying. From the evidence presented in the document, it does look like they might have a case.

Having had a brief trawl it looks like Sammie are just saying, this shows we did't copy X, and even if you're not convinced by that, this shows prior art, and, finally, if all else fails, this shows how Apple have misapplied the patent in the first place....

So their lawyers are just doing the usual in throwing everything in case something will stick. Frankly, I'd just rather Apple and Samsung were told to get over it and let the world move on.

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Re: When is a copy not a copy?

Don't forget that the designer of the original Sony Playstation was proud to say it is a homage to the Apple Mac (which was designed for Apple by Frog Design). His thoughts were "What would a games console look like if it were designed for Apple?", and he deliberately and openly insisted on horizonatal lines in the case.

It seems strange that Sony started the 21st centuary on the back foot- they had many MP3 player concepts and UIs- not to mention myriad Walkmen models- long before the iPod. They made so many different walkmen models that to produce a pocket-sized electronic device that doesn't look like a prior Sony device seems almost impossible. Like the characters in South Park spending all episode saying "Simpson's done it"

Tearing down your competitors models is such common practice that companies will usually send each other examples of their latest production models (along with an invoice) as a matter of course.

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Rob
Go

Isn't about time...

... a re-filming of the pop video "two tribes" was done replacing the superpower leaders with the CEO's of Samsung and Apple.

P.S. please consider this post as my evidence of prior art should anyone consider making money off this idea.

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Happy

and now for something almost similar .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cSSiCghAdU

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Trollface

Re: Isn't about time...

I'd prefer Celebrity Death Match :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Isn't about time...

"They're working for the black glass?"

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So what samsung is saying is sony should be suing them and having their product banned rather than apple?

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Joke

...or if Sony want to make a similar phone they can lay their hands on some CAD designs!

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Surely the point is

That they started off like Sony, then changed the design.

Whereas Samsung started off like Apple, and didn't change it.

Or something like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely the point is

Knew it wasn't going to be Apple at fault.

Selective understanding.

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Re: Surely the point is

No, Sammie are saying:

1. We had our designs before Apple released the IPhone and they were not materially changed by the IPhone

2. Apples original phone looked much different to the released version because Apple got sight of Sony designs and copied aspects of them (and the pictures do look urrrrm interesting)

3. Apples claim to originality is based at least in part on those aspects of the Sony design that they copied

4. Apples claim that Sammie *must* be guilty of copying because they do tear-downs of the competition is rubbish, because Apple do the same thing

Which really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, because we're long past the point where anyone can claim genuine originality in this field. I wish both sides would grow up.

That said, I was reading that the publishers of Minecraft are being accused of patent infringement (by a troll?) because they use a server to perform license checks (among other things)....

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Facepalm

Re: Surely the point is

To be fair Sammie wouldn't be filing this stuff with court if Fapple hadn't decided to spit their dummy out in the first place.

If they've paid nothing to Sammie for use of patents then they're surely in the wrong regardless and the question is merely how much.

I am beginning to get the sense that some of these 'thieves' of IP are actually paying out the rope with the small defeats so they can whip up a nice big arse-kicking down the line, allowing Fapple to paint themselves into a corner of their own making.

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Anonymous Coward

Pretty solid case

Hopefully, this will cost Apple dearly.... As a consumer, I HATE what they are doing...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pretty solid case

Oh no doubt it's a solid case... For Apple.

* In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”

* In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.

* As part of a formal, Samsung-sponsored evaluation, famous designers warned Samsung that the Galaxy S “looked like it copied the iPhone too much,” and that “innovation is needed.” The designers explained that the appearance of the Galaxy S “[c]losely resembles the iPhone shape so as to have no distinguishable elements,” and “[a]ll you have to do is cover up the Samsung logo and it’s difficult to find anything different from the iPhone.”

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